48 hours in the Gold Coast: rainforest walks, organic food and fine dining shake up expectations

Forget the theme parks: the Gold Coast regains its cool factor, thanks to hip cafes, farmers’ markets and unusual accommodation

When I think about holidays on the Gold Coast, it’s Wet ’n’ Wild, Sea World and Dreamworld that spring to mind. I don’t think of organic farms, night markets, world-class dining, eco tourism and pampering.

But the Gold Coast as a tourism destination – it hosts 11m visitors each year – is changing. The theme parks, the beaches, the sun ’n’ surf and the tacky souvenir shops are all still there but an explosion of hip cafes, top restaurants and farmers’ markets has added a new cool element to the old GC.

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